I may have mentioned it before, but I have love for simple food. I’m talking 4 ingredients or less kind of food. A piece of fresh bread with a smattering of butter and a slice of good cheese. Crisp apple wedges dipped in gooey peanut butter. Pasta tossed with butter, salt and parmesan. Good. Simple. Food.

The Italians have capitalized on that with Insalata Caprese. It’s simple and it just happens to contain my favorite things. Tomato + Fresh Mozzarella + Basil + Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper = Yumm Yumm Gimme Some! I stumbled across this recipe on FoodGawker the other day, and upon noticing the abundance of green beans in my fridge, promptly ran out and bought tomatoes and fresh mozarella to whip up this dish.

I, however, committed a cardinal sin and did not buy fresh basil. In my defense, I took one look at the limp, slightly browned bunch of basil in the produce section, matched by a $5 price tag and promptly turned away, resolving to use dried. It worked and wasn’t a total disaster, but I know fresh basil would really bring this dish alive. Either way, it felt like summer in my mouth.


Kinda Caprese Salad
From: adapted from recipe by Cookin’ Canuck

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
10 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz. fresh mozzarella (bocconcini or perlini [miniature balls of fresh mozz.)
1 t. dried basil or 3 T. fresh basil, chopped
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. coarse sea salt
1/4 t. fresh cracked black pepper
Splash of lemon juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add in trimmed green beans. Boil for a few minutes until beans are crisp-tender. Drain the beans and rinse with very cold water or “shock” in a bowl of ice water.

Mix together the cooled green beans, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil (if using dried basil) and toss well. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and splash of lemon juice and toss again to combine. If using fresh basil, add in just before serving.

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